This summer, a seven-story, 17,000-square-foot wood-framed condo tower will be placed on the world's largest earthquake shake plate, in Miki City, Japan, to test the resilience of taller wood buildings under seismic conditions. The NEESWood Capstone tests, as the project is known, will culminate a four-year-long research effort that involves five universities; the governments of the U.S., Canada, and Japan; and several manufacturers. Hawaii's Maui Homes is the builder.
The goal is to uncover evidence about the safety of higher mid-rise wood structures in seismic areas. The National Science Foundation, which provided a $1.4 million grant for this project, estimates that 75 million Americans live in places at risk from earthquakes. John van der Lindt, a professor of engineering at Colorado State University and the project's director, thinks the tests could prove the feasibility of using wood for buildings as tall as seven stories. [Read full article]
By John Caulfield,
BuilderOnline - April 6, 2009 - Going Up